1996 Lexus LX 450 Commercial with a Surprise Twist

It turns out the IS-F isn’t the first time Lexus has marketed a vehicle as the opposite of what you’d expect from the company, take a listen to the tagline of this 1996 LX 450 commercial:

“It’s everything a Lexus is, and everything a Lexus isn’t.” sounds pretty close to the IS-F’s “Everything you thought we weren’t” tagline.

(Perhaps Lexus should consider an off-shoot brand and just make the opposite of every car in their lineup.)

Lexus & the Chip Ganassi team win third consecutive Daytona 24

Lexus Wins the Daytona 24 Race

The No.1 Lexus Riley Prototype has won the Daytona 24 race for the third year in a row, marking the first time this has ever been accomplished in the race’s history. Piloted by Scott Pruett, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti and Memo Rojas, the Chip Ganassi team powered through the 24 hour race with none of the problems that beset their competitors:

The stat sheet will show the No. 01 won by two laps, led 252 of 695 circuits and the last 100. But for the first 19 hours the race was anything but a walkover, more resembling a last-man-standing test of mechanical preparation, luck, will and ability to not only survive, but thrive in conditions that went from wet to dry and back again.

The team did it well enough that aside from an early tire problem, the 2,474.2-mile marathon was trouble-free on the track. The only hiccup came when Franchitti was awakened too late for a stint, forcing Pruett to do extra time, but that didn’t slow them down.

Easily one of the most demanding races out there, it’s an amazing achievement to win it just once, nevermind three years running. Congrats to the whole Chip Ganassi team!

(Thanks Dan!)

[Source: USA Today]

Lexus to discontinue L-Finesse styling?

Lexus L-Finesse Logo

According to Winding Road, the new issue of Autocar is reporting that Lexus will be moving away from the L-Finesse design language used to style their cars over the last two years.

L-Finesse, which was created by Leonardo Fioravanti, first appeared in production form with the introduction of the 2006 GS model, and was meant to embody three essential qualities: Intriguing Elegance, Incisive Simplicity, and Seamless Anticipation. In practical terms, the vehicles using the L-Finesse language had some common features, including a fastback profile, a lower set grille and the use of both concave and convex surfaces.

There’s no mention of when L-Finesse will be discontinued, or what will come next, but I’m taking this news with some cautious optimism. I much preferred when the Lexus lineup didn’t all resemble one another, when it wasn’t just variations on the same theme. Still, there’s no saying that the future direction of the brand styling will be any different in that regard.

Another Glimpse into the Future Direction of US Lexus Dealerships

Lexus General Manager Mark Templin

Building off his presentation at the Automotive News World Congress, Lexus general manager Mark Templin outlined the future direction of Lexus dealerships in the US in an interview with Ward’s.

There’s a lot of information hidden in the details, but the primary point made is that Lexus will start to take on some characteristics of Scion, particularly in the way it deals with younger customers:

We’re learning about what young people want,” says Templin…“And that gives us a glimpse into the future. We can see what our future looks like by looking back and seeing what those people want today.

“The reality is, we’re all going to become like those young people. They’re not going to become like us.”

What Scion buyers want – and future Lexus customers will desire, as well – is a quicker purchasing and no-fuss service experience.

“Time is very important for them,” Templeton says of the Scion customer. “So we have to figure out how to speed up the process for them, whether it’s buying the car or whether it’s the parts and services side of the business. Those are important things.”

What’s interesting is how Templin plans to introduce these elements into the Lexus experience, with the most notable being “around-the-clock service facilities”. I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to pull this off, though it’s an easy statement to misinterpret. It could mean that servicing and repair could be put on a 24-hour schedule, and not that it would be possible to get an oil change at three in the morning. But who knows? It would certainly be a one-of-a-kind service, that’s for sure.

It’s an indepth interview, and very interesting to read.

[Via: TTAC]

Flickr Find: The Lexus LF-A Roadster Concept

After a while, auto show photos of a specific model tend to blend in to one another, but Flickr user Luc Bernard managed to bring something new to the table with his photo of the Lexus LF-A Roadster, all stark contrast and saturated color:

Lexus LF-A Roadster Concept

There’s been a lot of disappointment that a production model of the LF-A wasn’t shown at the Detroit Auto Show, but it shouldn’t take away from this roadster version. It manages to maintain Lexus’ gift for subtlety (at least by supercar standards), I just can’t get enough of it.